Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate Notes For Sunday’s Message; John 10:5, Acts 1:42-46

Scripture Reading for this Sunday: John 10:1-10; Acts 1:42-47

You can read it here: NIV and ESV

Hymns for Sunday:

UMH 600 – Wonderful Words of Life

UMH 63 – “Blessed Be the Name”

UMH 569 – We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations

This is Sermon # 2 in the Series.

You can read Sermon # 1 in the series at this link: (Sermon # 1: Church, Community, Culture}

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Today we will continue the conversation about church, how church relates to the community in which it lives and how the church community relates to the larger culture around it.

Last week we looked at how Jesus called his first Disciples, and how unique each of the Disciples was. We saw that they each had different ambitions, interests, and strengths.

We also saw in Acts 1:6-11 that the Disciples were of one accord and we talked about what it means to be of one accord. In music, every chord has many notes. To be of one accord, every disciple had to sing a different note. They maintained their own individual and unique identities, they were excited by the common VISION that Jesus left with them and they were working towards a common MISSION – making disciples for Jesus, for the transformation of the world. Just like it takes many notes to make one melody, it takes many unique personalities to fulfill God’s mission here on earth.

To be of one accord the Disciples sang many “notes” working towards a common mission of making a beautiful “piece of music.” They may have had different understandings of God, God’s Grace and Love, and what was happening around them AND nevertheless they were willing to become a community and work towards the common vision. Today we call a community like that a congregation or a church.

So let us see what was happening in the new community. Remember, we are in the season before the Pentecost, so technically it is not a church yet, but we already see how the followers of Jesus were working towards a common vision and organizing themselves around a common mission. I am looking at Acts 1:15-26 and I will skip a few verses as I read it.

Acts 1: 15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He [Judas] was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”

21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

The Book of Acts then continues with the story of how the Church started and the next stage in that story is the Day of Pentecost. We will read that Scripture on the Day of Pentecost. But I want to go into the Scripture where Peter addresses the crowd explaining what the ministry of Jesus means to them and to all of us (Acts 2:14-41).

Acts 2: 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

And then we read the sermon that Peter preached to the crowd with Scripture references and explanations. The sermon that Peter preached was well thought out and well argumented. The reading from Acts 2:14-41 concludes…

40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Last week we saw that Peter was a risk taker. {Illustration}

In last week’s message I contrasted Peter’s personality with the personalities of James and John. {Illustration}

I am NOT making a point that Peter’s personality was better than that of James and John. I am NOT making a point that Peter was better suited for evangelism than James and John. His personality was just different, and we need all kinds. Someone needs to be an administrator, someone needs to be the voice of reason, and James and John were up to that task while Peter was not.

The point that I AM making is that in order to reach BEYOND the walls of the church building, in order to bring others to Jesus, someone has to be willing to take calculated risks and step out on faith and actually interact with people who do not share their beliefs. And Peter was able and willing to do that.

We see an example of this in the Scriptures. Peter healed a beggar in the Temple (“Silver and Gold I have not but I give you what I have: Jesus” – Acts 3:1-26). Peter went to the house of Cornelius (acts 10: 24-48), Peter was the one who received instructions to give up kosher laws (Acts 10:9-16). All these required Peter to take risks and step out on faith. Notice that the author of Acts does not say anything about James and John doing anything remotely similar.

Again the point that I am making is NOT that Peter’s actions were more important than those of James and John; the point that I am making is that in order to reach out and bring someone to Jesus we need to be willing to take risks.

It also goes without saying that we cannot bring enemies to Jesus; the people whom we consider to be at odds with would not follow us. In order to bring someone to Jesus we need to be able to interact with them and consider them to be on the same level as ourselves; we need to treat them with respect.

Jesus himself talked about that in the Gospel of John 10:5. Jesus was teaching that sheep only follow the shepherd whose voice they know.

John 10: 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

Silver and gold we do not have, but we have Jesus. Are we sharing Jesus? (Acts 3:1-26)

When we reach out, trying to bring our neighbors to Jesus, inviting our neighbors to worship with us, it is imperative that they know who we are, that they see us as friends, as a community that cares. Only then will they be willing to hear our stories of what God has done in our lives and in our community.

{Illustration}

In today’s reading we heard that as the result of the outreach – and in HUGE part due to Peter’s willingness to take calculated risks – the new community was “enjoying the favor of all the people” and that “the Lord added to their number daily.”

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4 responses to “Approximate Notes For Sunday’s Message; John 10:5, Acts 1:42-46

  1. Pingback: Approximate Notes for Sunday’s Message; Palm Sunday 2015 | Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

  2. Pingback: Approximate Notes for Sunday Message; John 4:27-42 | Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

  3. Pingback: Approximate Notes for Sunday’s Message; May 17, 2015 | Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

  4. Pingback: Approximate Notes for Sunday’s Message. | Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

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